Perhaps your eyesight isn’t what it used to be, or vehicle maintenance and insurance costs are too high. There are many reasons why many of us eventually give up driving. Besides, sometimes it’s simply easier to let someone else be your chauffeur.
These days it’s easier than ever to hail a ride – all you need is a smartphone.
Popular ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber easily let you book rides whenever you need them. However, while many of us have heard of these apps, some of us aren’t exactly aware of how they work. Luckily, getting started is easier than you may realize.
The Growing Popularity of Ride-Sharing
Earlier this year, the AARP actually held workshops where they taught participants all about ride-sharing apps. (They’re also sometimes referred to as ride-hailing or ridesourcing apps as well.)
The 90-minute programs gave individuals a hands-on introduction to these services, including how to download and set up the apps.
However, you probably don’t need to spend an hour and a half with an instructor to get everything set up.
Getting Set Up
To get started, you simply need to log into your phone’s app store and download the app. (The two most used apps are Lyft and Uber.) Once installed, you’ll be able to set up a profile. Then, after you’ve filled out your profile, you’ll need to also input your secure payment information.
Stored payment information is important, since all the transactions are handled in the app. No cash ever has to change hands, and you know exactly how much your trip will cost from the get-go.
The How-Tos of Ride-Hailing
After you’ve got your app set up, you’ll be able to put in a ride request. You’ll either be able to use your current location or input a pickup location and you’ll also enter your destination.
Soon, you’ll be matched to a driver. You’ll be able to see their name, information about their car, and how far away they are. Armed with this knowledge, it should be easy to identify your ride.
Payment for your ride is all automatically processed within the app. The price is also calculated in advance, so you can see the total before you confirm it.
Want to schedule a ride in advance instead of relying on using the app on the fly? You can do that as well.
Things to Know
While you can’t choose a specific driver (it’s based on proximity), you’ll be able to rate them after your ride. You can also reject a driver if you feel it’s necessary.
Ride prices may vary. The cost of getting from your location to a set destination may not be the same from day to day. Fares fluctuate depending on traffic as well as demand. However, you’ll always see the price before you accept and confirm your ride.
Unlike taking a cab, with ride-sharing it is not necessary to have cash available for tipping. All payments (including optional tipping) are made through the app.
Feeling a Little Lost?
If you’re still confused about getting everything set up and you feel you do need some help, we understand. Perhaps one of those AARP workshops could be of help.
If you’re interested in learning more about their Ride@50+ program and using ride-sharing apps, you can always visit aarp.org/ride.
There, you can sign up for one of their free workshops.